James has emerged as a clear favourite for the name of the little Prince last night – at least among the betting public.
At 2/1, it overtook the earlier leader among boys’ names, George, which is now 5/1 as is Henry – Prince Harry’s real name.
Most punters had clearly expected a girl, with Alexandra the favourite at 7/4.
Bookmakers Coral said the royal birth was the biggest non-sporting betting event in the company’s history with cash staked on everything including hair colour and weight.
The name the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge choose will set a trend for a generation of babies, with other new parents having a boy anxious to copy them.
James has links to both families, but William already has a cousin called James - the Earl and Countess of Wessex's son Viscount Severn.
George has been the name of six Kings of England and was the Sovereign name of the Queen’s father, George VI, whose actual first name was Albert.
It is also one of Prince Charles’ middle names.
From Williams’s side of the family both his father’s name, which the Prince of Wales share with Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, and his grandfather’s are likely favourites.
At the bookies however, Charles did not even hit top ten with William Hill, and Phillip-betters will take home 40 times the money if they win.
The Cambridges are also likely to take inspiration from Kate's side of the family, possibly honouring her father Michael, or picking Francis, which is both her father and her grandfather's middle name. [related]
Princess Diana's middle name was Frances, the feminine form of the name, meaning William could honour his mother's memory through his son.
Less likely are older Middleton family names such as Kate's maternal grandfather, who was called Ronald, however Thomas appears several times on both sides of Kate's family.
The announcement that the Duchess was in labour sent punters to the betting shops, and bookmaker Paddy Power said they took £390,000 in bets in the three hours after this morning's news.